Saturday, November 27, 2021

Write clear detailed plans

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Sabine Elsässer
Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

UFODRIVE eMobility platform: Book, unlock and drive via your phone their all-electric premium fleet

Please introduce yourself and your startup UFODRIVE to our readers!

I’m Aidan McClean, Irish but living in Luxembourg for 9 years. I previously worked in the corporate world with an international career over 25 years in financial services. I was responsible for digital transformation projects in major banks, insurance and wealth management companies. I’m a passionate cyclist and have always been curious about technology and its ability to deliver better outcomes to the problems faced in the modern world.

UFODRIVE runs an advanced eMobility platform allowing mobility providers go contactless and electric. UFODRIVE has developed and proven the platform by delivering a radically better car rental experience in eight countries and 17 locations in less than two years. A 100% electric, 100% digital experience for the customer that takes all the hassle out of renting a car as well as accelerating the transition to electric mobility.

How did you get the idea of UFODRIVE?

I travelled extensively during my corporate career and was always disappointed with the user experience of traditional car rental. I’ve rented hundreds of cars and I’d hate to add up the amount  of time wasted while queuing for what was frequently a poor service. In 2017, when returning from holiday I had  a particularly negative experience while renting at an airport and that’s what set me on the path to seeing if I could find a better way.

Why did you decide to start with UFODRIVE?

Two main reasons :

The aforementioned dissatisfaction with traditional car rental. I knew that bringing together the best technology and a well designed user experience could radically improve car rental for all customers

I’ve been fascinated with the evolving story of electric mobility over the last 10 years  and came to realise that the transition to electric was going too slowly. When we created UFODRIVE at the end of 2017 we chose to start with a 100% electric fleet. We wanted to demonstrate that running a fully EV fleet was not only possible but could deliver operational efficiencies as well as accelerating mobility’s transition to electric.

What is the vision behind UFODRIVE?

UFODRIVE’s goal is to be the number one global eMobility shared platform provider – leading the transition to electric

How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?

We started our first location at Luxembourg airport. The aim was to build and prove our technology as well as assess the market for All-digital, All-electric rental. Our launch and first months in operation went well and we were immediately encouraged to embark on expanding to further locations. Rapid expansion brought lots of challenges as were a small team and like many startups we juggled priorities to keep moving forward. Growth is a great motivator though and with persistence we solved our challenges and opened 17 locations across 8 countries in 2 years.

Who is your target audience?

It’s evenly spread across City dwellers (people living in cities who don’t own a car), Business Travellers & Leisure Travellers. Across all of these segments we are observing strong growth in customers who express a preference for driving electric.

What is the USP of your startup?

UFODRIVE has developed a complete end-to-end advanced eMobility technology platform. Developed from real world customer and fleet experience over 3 years, UFODRIVE provides its rental customers with a hassle free, 2 minute rental process in prime locations and 100% electric cars. There are no queues, no confusing extras options, no paperwork, no key. The entire process is on a smartphone – customers simply ‘Arrive & Drive’.

Can you describe your typical workday ?

Difficult to define a typical day. This is one aspect I really enjoy compared to my previous corporate life, you have flexibility to do what needs to be done and can generally get decisions made and implemented very quickly.

Where do you see yourself and your startup UFODRIVE in five years?

We’re focused on growing the business and have ambitious expansion plans for both the rental business and our Mobility Solutions SaaS platform.

What 3 tips would you give to founders?

Write clear detailed plans on what you expect to achieve. This exercise in itself is a great discipline in forcing you think deeply about your business

Take rapid and decisive action and be prepared to tear up and redraw the plan as you go along.  We’ve all seen how the world can change during  the last 12 months so you have to stay flexible.

Enjoy it….or at least try!

Thank you  Aidan McClean for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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